UAB Athletics among best sports information departments in the FBS

UAB Athletics recognized in another historic first for the Blazers.
Written by: Maegan Royal
Media contact: Tyler Greer

AthleticsJoomlaThe University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Athletic Communications was named a recipient of the 2018 Super 11 Award, given annually by the Football Writers Association of America to the best-performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

UAB is one of four first-time recipients to go along with seven repeat winners. Clemson (ACC), Colorado (Pac 12) and Nebraska (Big Ten) each won for a sixth time. It was Clemson’s fourth straight award and Colorado’s fifth award in six seasons.

Pittsburgh (ACC) claimed a Super 11 Award for the fourth time and Navy (AAC) a third time. Iowa State (Big 12) and Mississippi State (SEC) each won for the second time.

The four first-time recipients in the award series, which began in 2009, are Arizona State (Pac 12), Miami, Florida (ACC), UAB (C-USA) and Wisconsin (Big Ten).

“These 11 sports information departments have done an outstanding job of not just fulfilling the needs of media members, but understanding the importance of strong working relationships between programs and the reporters who cover them,” 2019 FWAA President Matt Fortuna said.

This year’s winners were deemed to have had good accessibility during the week of the game and after the game — with a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches — along with the other listed criteria.

“That was a special point of emphasis in 2018 and will be again in 2019,” FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson said. “Our membership wants access to players after games, of course, but also for human interest and analytical stories during the week. Over the years, for a variety of reasons, this access has been restricted. We believe there are many good stories out there that can be told if they are allowed to be told.”

FWAA members who covered college football during the 2018 season provided input in the awards survey.

The FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee in January 2009. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA. The FWAA has awarded Super 11 to 60 different schools in this program over the years.

The Football Writers Association of America, a nonprofit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America teams.